Giving Up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley.

About the book: Giving Up the Ghost: A Story
about Friendship, 80s Rock, A Lost Scrap of Paper and what it means to be
is written by Eric Nuzum, published by Random House Publishing
Group on 7th August 2012. 

(partly from here):
Eric Nuzum is afraid of the supernatural, and for good reason: As a young boy,
he believed he was being haunted by the ghost of a little blonde girl in a blue
dress, first in his dreams and slowly in his real life. It ended with Eric in a
mental ward. His friendship with a girl named Laura was the only thing that
kept him “normal”. She made him alive again – only to become a ghost
herself in a tragic twist of fate. Years later, Eric is still scared of
‘ghosts’. In order to finally face his fear, he decides to visit America’s most
haunted places. But deep down he knows it’s only when he digs up the ghosts of
his past, especially Laura, that he’ll find the peace he’s looking for.
My rating: 2/5
My thoughts: The book description seemed
so interesting. The book was supposed to be “hilarious” and
“moving”, as described, but what I got, instead, was moderately
amusing and overly emotional. I loved the premise of the book, the idea of such
a memoir, but the execution could have been way better.
(What I liked) Look at that cover: it’s
fabulous, isn’t it? The mysterious girl, the silhouette of that guy, the creepy
shade of blue and even that font made me immediately want to grab the book and
read it. And the book
started off great. I was completely engrossed for about the first fifty pages.
I could completely relate to the funny, quirky narration along with the
descriptions of the narrator’s inexplicable, overwhelming fears and obsessions.
I loved that strange recurring dream, the constant feeling of being haunted,
the eerie way in which it is described. I also liked the parts in the present,
when the writer is hunting down ghosts in the supposedly most haunted places in
America. It’s interesting and well written. The premise of the book was
thoroughly fascinating.
(What I didn’t like) What I didn’t quite
appreciate was the haphazard execution of the idea. I didn’t like the book, because I just
found it boring. Let me elaborate: the book sounds too much like a rant, at
times. I though it was a bit overdone. The book was an obviously hard and quite ineffective attempt to seem profound. It was dull in places and I felt like skipping ahead (which is
something I rarely feel.) Having lost a lot of people myself, I could relate to
the writer, but I still can’t make out the point of the book. The worst thing,
for me, was halfway through the book, I realized I was reading further only because
I had to write this review. I would have loved the book, even if it had just been the
writer’s journey to all the haunted places all over America, trying to figure
out if any of them were actually haunted. What could have been a much more charming read, seemed only okay to me.
That being said, I can think of people who
might actually like it. I would recommend the book to people who don’t
put much thought into reading, who are looking for a light, breezy read. It is
also a good horror book for people who want to avoid the violence in horror
fiction, but do like that eerie feeling it gives you.

2 thoughts on “Giving Up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum”

  1. Ah, what a shame. As an avid reader, nothing is more tortuous than slogging through a book that disappoints. The premise sounded great, though I think I would have read it if it were, like you said, the writer's journey through American haunts.


  2. You still could read it just for that!
    I know what you mean. I also hate writing reviews for books I didn't really like; seems pointless..


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